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Indiana-Based Early Alzheimer's Study First Of Its Kind

Jill Sheridan
IPB News

A multi-state study to examine early on-set Alzheimer’s will launch soon, and it’s based at Indiana University’s School of Medicine. The Longitudinal Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease or LEADS, is the first, large scale clinical trial to research the disease.

Dr. Liana Apostolova was joined by co-researchers in Indianapolis this week as the study gets underway. The National Institutes of Health awarded the group $7.6 million to research early onset Alzheimer’s.

"We really don’t know if these patients will have the same risk factors or the same disease mechanisms that if you will," says Apostolova. "All we know is there is amyloid in the brain."

READ MORE: Mapping The Brain: Alzheimer's Research In Indiana

Chief Science Officer for the Alzheimer’s Association Maria Carrillo says there’s more federal support than ever for the study of the disease in its early form.

"It is about time that we put significant resources into the study and understanding of why people under 65 get dementia and Alzheimer’s disease," says Carrillo.

There will be a network of 17 sites for the study, and they hope to recruit more than 400 patients. Apostolova says the study of these participants is key.

"A goal of the study is to define new genetic risk factors, why do these people get it so early, obviously its genetics, its environment, but we’ll find new genes, it’s important," she says.

The research may help improve diagnosis and care as well as provide insight on potential therapies.